NIC announces new radiography technology program

The Idaho State Board of Education approved a proposal Thursday, giving North Idaho College the okay to offer a new radiography technology program.

“We're very pleased to have the opportunity to offer this program at NIC,” said NIC Vice President for Instruction Jerry Gee. “The need is definitely there, and we're answering the health care community's demand for this new program in professional-technical education.”

For the past few years, radiography technology always surfaced as a needed and desired program, according to Health Professions and Nursing Director Lita Burns. Although the program is available in Spokane, affordability and accessibility were common restraints to North Idaho students seeking to enter the profession.

Results of a 2003 health care worker needs assessment conducted by NIC and Lewis-Clark State College ranked radiography technology as the third most needed program in the region (behind nursing and certified nursing assistant). Lewis-Clark State College established a radiography program at the bachelor's degree level as a result of the assessment.

Data obtained from C.C. Benefits, a planning firm that provides economic impact analysis, reports a predicted increase of 17 percent in the number of new and replacement radiography technician jobs in the five northern counties of Idaho by 2006. An increase of 32 percent is expected by 2010.

“The market for this program is good,” Burns said. “Because of the national shortage of these workers, the job prospects and the need for these workers is promising.”

Radiography technicians work in a variety of health care settings, using x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasounds and computerized tomography to capture and reproducing images of the human body for diagnostic and treatment purposes.

NIC's radiography technology program will be a five-semester program. Successful graduates of the program will attain an associate of applied science degree and be eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists exam to become certified.

Because of the emphasis on practical education through hands-on practicums in the professional setting, radiography technology will be a limited enrollment program. The college hopes to open the program for enrollment by fall semester 2006 at the latest, according to Burns. The program will accept about 10 students initially and Burns expects it to grow to approximately 16 students.

“This program is going to provide students who aren't interested in the field of nursing the opportunity to enter a health care profession in a very reliable area,” Burns said. “Students who complete this program will be able to gain meaningful employment in North Idaho and across the nation.”

For More Information
NIC Vice President for Instruction Jerry Gee, (208) 769-3305

Posted: Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005

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